From Everything Shii Knows, the only reliable source

This website is an archive. It ran from 2006-2010. Virtually everything on here is outdated or inaccurate.

I consider myself a Discordian, but only in the sense that Marcion of Sinope was a Christian. Discordianism today is mainly practiced by a bunch of gullible New Age nutballs who slander the good name of the Principia Discordia. In this article I will refer to this group as the Erisians and explain why they are wrong, something which Wikipedia fails to do.


So what is Discordianism really?

Discordianism is a non-flippant parody religion. There is a distinction here. The cults of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Invisible Pink Unicorn are both flippant parody religions, concocted with one purpose in mind: to demonstrate that Christianity is based on beliefs and not facts. Discordianism, on the other hand, was created with a philosophical intention, namely, to separate the blissful, chaotic ecstasy of faith from the stubbornness of organized religion, and to do so in a way that reminds its followers not to take it too seriously.

Most of the statements in the Principia contradict principles set out in other parts of the book, or even themselves: "It is my firm belief that it is a mistake to hold firm beliefs." The Principia celebrates contradiction, making it not only stupid but logically impossible to believe everything written in the book. It laughs at traditional religion: your holy text contradicts itself, but yet you're meant to believe all of it, and invent explanations for the contradictions. Unknown authorities, rubber-stamped onto the page, command us with ridiculous yet familiar immediacy: "DO NOT CIRCULATE", "DO NOT PULL ON YELLOW TIP", "PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS DOCUMENT AS TOILET TISSUE". The official commandments of Discordianism pre-contradict themselves, warning us not to eat hot dog buns only after commanding us to do so in order to disobey Discordianism. The end result is a reluctance to take the book seriously at all, but it dares you not to.

There's more to this than just the giant poster on the street telling us ironically to question authority and think for yourself. The sense you get reading the Principia Discordia is that it is compounding all the pointless regulations of religion and life into one giant mess, allowing you to resolve it and discover the patterns. Discordianism echoes Emerson in its admonishment: "The Classical Greeks were not influenced by the Classical Greeks."

Discordianism is not Fruitbat Neo-Paganism

There is a fellow named "Reverend Loveshade" who would aspire to write a sequel to the Principia. I take offense mainly to his name, which makes it sound like he has some sort of recognition among people like me, which he absolutely does not. He is just some random idiot with a website.

  1. He equates Discordianism with 1970s loop-de-doopy feminism. Since when was "be nice to people" a principal commandment of Discordianism? That's exactly the sort of thing that the Principia is mocking.
  2. He uses Discordianism to make political points and tries to pass it off as a new parable. Who gave him the authority to do that? Isn't Discordianism precisely about not assigning any extra authority to anyone's beliefs? Also, his "parable" sucks.
  3. He lists five "holy books" of Discordianism. This is wrong in and of itself. Discordianism cannot have holy books because it is not an organized religion. Not even the Principia is holy-- it is meant to be read with a skeptical mind, and indeed it almost forces its readers to read it skeptically. So, the fact that he is listing "holy books" is itself an indication that he is taking things too seriously. The last of his holy books is some shopping catalog, indicating that he wishes to combine Discordianism with nonsense. He's missing the fact that this isn't the Flying Spaghetti Monster religion. If it isn't creating a coherent whole, why does he write it at all? This page indicates a deep misunderstanding of Discordianism.
  4. He conducts Discordian weddings between various pseudonymous Internet users. I imagine an in-person Discordian wedding could be possible. However, an Internet wedding is simply silly. Again, this is not meant to be a Flying Spaghetti Monster religion.

Discordianism is not the Penguin of Doom

On a related subject see here.

What inspired this page

I had an argument with the "Rev." Loveshade in 2006 over whether his books should be included in Wikipedia as Discordian canon. In the course of that argument several other Erisians popped up to cast shame on me for mocking their perversion of Discordianism. In the end I had to get some outside Wikipedians to come in and outnumber them before Loveshade's stuff could be removed from the article. One of the arguments he used was that he was the predominant Discordian of the day and he had written the introduction to the current edition of the P.D. as well as authored various other shitty vanity press books which somehow constituted modern Discordian thought, so I became disgusted with their ilk in general.

Since then I have happily learned of the existence of a forum at http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/ where the Gospel is treated properly, torn up and abused, etc.

Response: "I disagree!"

Comment by P. McGorill: after reading the article you wrote, I'm concerned you're taking our faith a little too seriously.

You write: "This page indicates a deep misunderstanding of Discordianism." When, in fact, MISUNDERSTANDING IT IS THE WHOLE POINT!!!
Don't get me wrong, the Reverend Loveshade positions himself as an uppity character and I'm no fan of the uppity. But what is wonderfully apparent, what is his magnificently redeeming feature, what you quite accurately noticed is that "He is just some random idiot with a website."
If discordianism is not a flippant fruitbat bullshit hodge podge made up of random idiots (which may be the case) I am at a loss as to what it is (which is undoubtedly the case (or not)). Three cheers for loveshade for creating something! If Discordianism is about anything (and it might be) it is about creation. You, my friend (or enemy or something else altogether), are using your energy criticizing. I have little doubt this critique rages in your mind every time you come across what you see as a bastardization of the faith. Instead of criticizing, you could be using your energy evangelizing by which I mean wearing interesting hats and asking strangers "excuse me, do you have the lime?"
I agree with you completely that Discordians are different from the FSM assholes but perhaps my reasoning is different.
The FSM (& IPU) was created to point out the stupidity of Religion on logical grounds. Discordian is was created to point out the stupidity of organized religion on absolutely no grounds. They kind of just said it, rubber stamped it, and it resonated with the people so much that it took on a life of its own in their hearts and pineal glands.
Your differentiation between the two is backwards. It is Pastafarianism that is not flippant and discordianism that is. Pastafarians have a purpose, a goal; discordians eat hotdogs on friday or they don't. If you catch a Pastafarian with his pants down, he will be extremely flustered and defensive; if you catch a discordian with her pants down she will probably start masturbating.
I once lent a copy of the Principia to a dear friend of mine. A few days later I found the pages torn, dirty, cold, wet and strewn across the ground. At first I was hurt that she treated my lovely and already water damaged book with such disrespect, then I realized that SHE GOT IT!

Response to the response: "I disagree!"=

Comment by J. Dunsmore: I would like to respond to the Honorable (or not) P. MCGORILL.

I do not think that Shii or myself or anyone else for that matter has any problem with Mr Reverend Loveshade spinning off in Chaos with whatever he wishes based on the original Discordianism. I, for one, say, "YEAH!! Have at the bitch!!"
What I would RATHER not happen is for the CORE original to be modified or added too. I would rather not have ANYone's brand of Discordianism be shmooshed into the core. Not because I don't want myself and everyone else to roll around in it and make it stink like ourselves, but because I want everyone to have the chance to take it MANY times over and make it smell in different exciting ways!! Just like when I try cooking I like to use fresh ingredients, well most times anyway. If the core is changed to add ANYONE's flavor then it's just not the same. Let EVERYONE have their chance to make something taste good. Why let one person corrupt the base because he says he should be in there? Once that happens EVERYONE will want to be added and the original WILL get lost and Discordiansim WILL be nothing more than flying spaghetti monsters.

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